With the major disruption across the world, the coronavirus outbreak has almost brought the whole world to a standstill position. As the total cases have crossed 182,000 all over the world with over 7,100 deaths, the governments around the globe are tightening quarantine measures to contain this pandemic at earliest.
The marijuana industry also could not be escaped from the economic shockwaves produced by the coronavirus outbreak. The outbreak has not only paralyzed the economy but also crippled the legislative process.
Quarantine measures put by the government have withheld many bills, including the “California Cannabis Hemp Heritage Act 2020 (CCHA-2020)”. The bill is an attempt to improve access to marijuana in California by changing licensing and tax policies under the current regulatory policies.
Noted American Filmmaker Kevin Smith and Actor Jason Mewes published a Facebook video on Saturday urging the California Government to allow petitions to be signed online rather than in-person to avoid public contact.
The Hollywood duo argued that the initiative they’re supporting would resolve the problems such as the criminalization of people who are buying cannabis even for medical purposes.
CCHHA 2020 is an attempt to amend the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) or Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state of California back in 2016.
Smith argued against the proposition 64. He said, “proposition 64 has rolled back some of the rights and the access the people had to the plant prior to that to the bill.”
The CCHHA 2020 initiative includes the provisions like,
- Applying a 10 percent cap on the excise tax on marijuana sales.
- Eliminate the tax for medical cannabis.
- 50 percent of tax revenue will be invested in the development and promotion of the cannabis industry.
The Pair further argued that due to the coronavirus outbreak, our volunteers are unable to go for canvassing and not getting signatures anymore.
“Will you accept digital signatures for this one time?” asked by Smith to the California Government in his Facebook video. He added, “We are in the middle of a pandemic, and it would be irresponsible to send people out to get signatures, will digital signatures be enough?”
The duo’s request for a digital signature amid the coronavirus pandemic received support from other drug reformers too.
Adam Eidinger, a Washington based marijuana activist, and his group sent a letter to the mayor and local lawmakers, requesting them to accept online signatures concerning the coronavirus outbreak.
The group added, “We recognize the extraordinary nature of and challenges in crafting such legislation and the implementing rules—but we are facing an extraordinary situation. The public and petitioners will be at risk if they collect them in person. The Board of Elections could also be given a chance to verify signatures via mail or phone.”
It yet remains unknown whether the legislators in the District of Columbia or California will accept the plea to adjust or not.